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Europe in the world in 2023: Learning the language of power?

Strategic foresight / OUTLOOK PAPER
Amanda Paul , Andrew Duff , Ivano di Carlo , Shada Islam , Mihai Sebastian Chihaia , Ricardo Borges de Castro , Iana Maisuradze , Georg Riekeles , Maxime Sierro , Rita Mendonça Barbosa Amorim Lobo , Simon Dekeyrel , Marta Mucznik , Svitlana Taran , Philipp Lausberg , Zeynep Güner , Berta López Domènech

Date: 22/02/2023
In the second edition of the EPC Outlook Paper, the Europe in the World programme presents a comprehensive overview of the main developments on the global stage in 2023. The paper analyses and highlights how these developments will impact the EU’s role in the world and outlines what the EU and member states can do to continue learning and speaking the language of power.

Rather than being an exercise in prediction, the Outlook Paper aims to be a navigation guide for the year ahead.

2023 will likely be a turbulent year for the European Union. Russia’s war in Ukraine will continue to be the main challenge for the country and its Western allies. As the Kremlin continues to use all weapons available to pursue its revisionist agenda, the burden of the war and post-war recovery needs will intensify with the prolongation of the conflict.

At the same time, the EU has to deal with emerging tensions in its relationship with the US, which risk undermining the recent transatlantic comeback. It must also avoid further deterioration of its relationship with China, closely monitoring the country’s ties with Russia.

Beyond these immediate challenges, the EU will need to adapt to profound structural developments within global geopolitics, such as the shifting nature of power, the return of hard politics and great power competition, and the increasing importance of competition and confrontation in the geo-economic system. Energy security, the EU’s ambitions for security and defence, and the ‘rhetoric-credibility’ gap vis-à-vis its enlargement policy are other matters of concern that will have a major influence on EU policymaking.

The Outlook Paper appears in yearly instalments. Each edition has a central theme but also covers developments in a broad range of regions and countries around the world that are strategic to the EU. The Paper includes an in-depth analysis of crucial policies, emerging challenges, and chronologies of key events within and outside the EU. The second edition begins with a “Look Back” section, revisiting the 2022 Paper. This critical feature reviews and reassesses previous assumptions, ensuring the continued quality of our analysis.

Read the full paper here.
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